FreelanceEngine Tutorial 1

Recently, we have received great concern about the payment flow in FreelanceEngine. How the money goes from employer via admin to freelancer, at which project’s stage and how long it would take for money to be transferred from employer to admin and from admin to freelancer. And in case any issue may arise, how to resolve the money.

So this tutorial is carried out with details in each step to make you all clear about the process.

Flow of payment

Let’s take this case as an example for flow of payment in FreelanceEngine:

  • Daisy posts a project looking for a designer for her website. The project would take 7 days and its budget is $1300. Next, John – a design freelancer, bids for Daisy’s project with $1200.
  • Daisy accepts John’s bidding and has to send $1200 project payment to admin¹ to start the project.

         Meanwhile, Admin needs to enable Escrow system in the back-end (Engine Settings > Escrow > Settings > Using Escrow) so that PayPal Adaptive can receive and hold this project payment.

FreelanceEngine escrow


  • After that, Daisy and John enter the workspace, officially marking the start of the project. John begins to work on the project.
  • Then comes the day when John completes his design for Daisy’s bakery. He checks the Complete status. Daisy feels happy with the work and also adjusts project status to Complete.
  • The admin reviews the project. If everything is ok, admin changes project status as Finish. At this point, PayPal Adaptive will immediately transfer project payment to John².

          If admin wishes to manually transfer money to freelancers, turn on Manual Transfer option in the back-end (Engine Settings > Escrow > Settings > Manual Transfer).

freelanceengine tutorial 2


¹, ²: Regarding commission fee, there are a few things to note:

  • Receiver: Admin will receive the commission per successful project.
  • Payer: Admin can decide who will pay in the back-end (Engine Settings > Escrow > Settings > Payer of commission).
  • Besides, Admin can set the commission rate as percentage or a specific amount.

FreelanceEngine payment flow tutorial - Commission fee

If project owner (employer) is the one who pays, then when the bid is accepted, he has to send to admin the project payment PLUS commission fee. On the other hand, if freelancer has to pay, the amount he/she receives equals project’s payment DEDUCT commission fee.

Dispute management

However, things are not perfect sometimes. Dispute may arise during the project, freelancer or employer may quit in the middle of the project. In this situation, admin plays the role of a judge to make the final decision. Based on reasons given by both employer and freelancer, admin will decide whether to make the refund for employer or to send money to the freelancer.

In short, the payment flow in FreelanceEngine is quite clear with relevant steps. Especially, with Escrow system and PayPal Adaptive, workflow and transaction are smoother and more reliable when all involved parties are secure in the knowledge that project’s money is kept safe with this system.

  • William Harrison
    Mar  29TH,  2016

    So the admin gets the commission fee?

    • My Dang
      Mar  29TH,  2016

      Hi William,
      Yes, the commission fee charged per project belongs to admin. That’s one way you can monetize from your freelance marketplace website 🙂


      • William Harrison
        Mar  29TH,  2016

        Thanks My Dang. I’ll have to work on my reading comprehension!

        • My Dang
          Mar  31ST,  2016

          Thanks, William. I’ve added this point to the tutorial. Hope it’s clearer for you now.

          Have a nice day 🙂

  • jack
    Apr  14TH,  2016

    I want freelancer Amounting to 10% of the total amount as a deposit for undertaking project work before the project starts pay to admin, and after complete project, this amount return to freelancer amount
    Is such a thing possible?

    • Uyen Tran
      Apr  15TH,  2016

      Hello Jack,
      Thanks for your question.
      I fully understand your idea but, unfortunately, what you are trying to achieve is not yet possible with the current version of the theme. It might be achievable with custom coding but that is beyond our support.
      If you have any further question, please feel free to email to


  • puneet
    May  17TH,  2016


    i can understand that we can deduct the commission from employer or the freelancer
    but, who fixes the commission?
    can admin fix, a percentage commission say 10%, for all the projects?

    • My Dang
      May  18TH,  2016

      Hi Puneet,
      All the settings in the back-end are made by Admin. So yes, only Admin can set the commission rate. You can set it as percentage or a flat fee which is applied to all projects.
      Thanks for your question. I have updated the tutorial with more details about commission fee settings. Hope it’s clear for you 🙂


  • puneet
    May  18TH,  2016

    2 things which are not clear in the demo.

    1. As an employer when you post a project what is the meaning of commission rate (if admin has to fix the commission) ?
    2. there is no demo as a freelancer – bidding for a project.

  • puneet
    May  18TH,  2016


    Thanks for the reply, i still need some more understanding about 2 things which are not clear in the demo.

    1. As an employer when you post a project what is the meaning of commission rate Tab(if admin has to fix the commission) ? Is it an option?

    2. there is no demo for a freelancer – bidding for a project(how is he going to bid?)

  • Uyen Tran
    May  24TH,  2016

    Hello Puneet,
    Thanks for posting in. Kindly find the answers to all your questions below:
    1. Here is the theme workflow for your reference

    2. Kindly visit our demo at and create 2 new accounts (freelancer and employer). After that, please create a new project by employer account and bid the project by freelancer account to test the workflow of the theme. Also, kindly have a look at this screenshot

    Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact us!


  • Nick
    May  29TH,  2016

    Hi there,

    I would like to charge both the employer and the freelancer a commission. Is EngineThemes able to customise this for me?

    • Chau
      May  31ST,  2016

      Hello Nick,

      Regarding this, it’s such a pity that we’ve stopped our customization service maybe you can try contacting our partner Codeable to assist you to achieve it.

      Many thanks.

  • Tracy
    Jun  21ST,  2016

    Hello ,
    I want to use Escrow system only through Cash Payments . How can i do that ?

    Employer should wire (transfer) my bank account and then i accept this payment , cut off my commission through escrow and send it to freelancer. In the demo mode , ı couldn’t get rid of paypal option. İn the profile of the member i dont want to see paypal account. There should be local bank IBAN or account ID.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Chau
    Jun  23RD,  2016

    Hello Tracy,

    Regarding your question, the FrE theme supports only Paypal Escrow as a default of Escrow system and Stripe Escrow (premium plugin). Per your request to use Escrow system only through Cash Payments, we don’t have this feature available at the moment.

    Please kindly refer the FrE credit plugin here:

    In order to use the cash method, please go to Engine Settings => Settings => Payments => and disable Paypal and all gateways in this section then enable the Cash Payment.

    Also please have in mind that when you choose to use credit system to work with Escrow on your project bidding website, PayPal Adaptive and Stripe Connect API are disabled.


  • Maskut
    Jul  04TH,  2016

    Hello ,

    Could we have a chance to build Freelancer Themes completely free.
    I don’t want to charge any money for services that we’ll use our website ?

    Is it possible if i buy basic themes and installation together ? Could you install theme as in demo preview version but without payment options ?


  • Chau
    Jul  05TH,  2016

    Hello Maskut,

    Regarding your question, in case you don’t want to charge any service money you can disable the “Escrow system” and enable the “Free to submit listing” function in the backend.

    As for buying the basic themes and installation together, it’s possible to do so. Once you bought the installation service our staff will install the theme same as demo preview version for you.


  • Preet Parekh
    Jul  09TH,  2016

    For some reason, when trying to accept the sellers bid, the buyer hits accept but nothing happens. Is this a bug? If so how can i fix it?

    • Chau
      Jul  11TH,  2016

      Hello Preet,

      Regarding this, please go to to post about the problem you’ve encountered. Our TS will be glad to assist you in solving it.

      Many thanks.

    • Carlo
      Nov  14TH,  2016

      I have the same exact prblem and I have emailed Uyen about this. Please help!

  • Aezaz
    Oct  23RD,  2016


    My client purchased your theme and set it up.

    I have a question regarding payment between admin and freelancer.

    You wrote above: “The admin reviews the project. If everything is ok, admin changes project status as Finish. At this point, PayPal Adaptive will immediately transfer project payment to John².”

    I am not able to see from where admin will review and finish project and how will freelancer get payments.

    Can you please tell me more on this?

  • Uyen Tran
    Oct  24TH,  2016

    Hello Aezaz,

    Thanks for posting in.
    First, kindly have a look at these screenshots

    In case you enable [Manual Transfer], after the project is completed, the admin gets an email with the URL that you can go through and Approve the payment. Finally, the money will be transferred via PayPal to Freelancer’s account.

    If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me via


    Nov  10TH,  2016

    Hi,,, how do a freelancer can set up his payment method to receive money on this freelanceengine theme? I can’t see any option in backend.. please help

  • N
    May  29TH,  2017

    If both parties agree to amend the initial quote, is it possible to split the payment between the 2 parties instead of assigning it to on or the other?
    For example: The freelancer is unable to complete part of the job and has already delivered a part. The employer agrees to pay only for the part that has been delivered. The initial payment held in escrow is $100, but the employer accepts to pay $80 instead. Is it possible to assign $80 to the freelancer and $20 to the employer?
    Thank you

    • Thao Pham
      May  31ST,  2017

      Dear N,

      Thank you for your question.
      Regarding your concern, we would like to confirm that the FreelanceEngine only supports to release the money ONCE. It means you cannot deliver payment per stage or partly.

      If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me via

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